Parliament to hold COVID-19 crisis plenary with remote voting

Written by Lorna Hutchinson on 19 March 2020 in News
News

The extraordinary plenary session, which will take place on March 26, will see MEPs use a remote voting system for the first time.

Photo credit: Flickr


European Parliament President David Sassoli has called an extraordinary plenary session for March 26 to approve measures to tackle the outbreak of Coronavirus.

The plenary session will be the first to use a remote voting system.

Sassoli said in a statement, “I was determined that Parliament would remain open because democracy cannot be stopped by this virus. We are the only European institution elected by citizens and we want to represent and defend them.”


RELATED CONTENT


“For this reason I decided to convene an extraordinary plenary session on Thursday 26 March in order to approve the emergency measures presented by the European Commission. It will be the first plenary that will use the distance voting system. In the face of this emergency, we must use all the means we have available.”

He added, “It is a difficult time. We want to be close to families who have lost loved ones, to those who are sick, and to European compatriots who are experiencing a moment of great fear. We must use all our energies and appeal to everyone's responsibility. Europe will only succeed if we are united, courageous and supportive.”

The news of the extraordinary plenary session was welcomed by political groups and deputies alike.

The S&D Group said, “As we requested, next Thursday the Plenary will sit for one day to vote on measures on COVID-19, with most MEPs attending remotely. Protecting European’s health and our economy from the worst consequences of this crisis will be our top priorities.”

“Democracy cannot be stopped by this virus. We are the only European institution elected by citizens and we want to represent and defend them” David Sassoli, European Parliament President

The EPP Group said that it welcomed the decision by the European Parliament to “take its responsibility and find a safe way to approve the urgent proposals of the European Commission in the fight against the Coronavirus.”

EPP Group chairman Manfred Weber said, “In this time of crisis, we need unity and decisive action to protect citizens and our economy.”

About the author

Lorna Hutchinson is Deputy Editor at The Parliament Magazine

Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.

 

Share this page

Tags

Categories

Related Partner Content

Social EU or no EU? Trades Union calls for balanced approach to Pillar of Social Rights
22 June 2016

The European Commission's Pillar of Social Rights initiative must include proposals to counter the negative impact EU economic governance rules, says Eduardo Chagas.

Refugee Integration in Europe: good practices and challenges
16 May 2018

The EU has a duty to protect refugees from exploitation, while preserving the values upon Europe’s  democratic societies are built, argues Tommaso Virgili.